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Team | Artax


Alan E. Walts, PhD

Executive Chairman

Alan has served as Executive Chairman since February 2017 and has been an advisor to Artax since July, 2015. Alan also serves as Executive Chairman of PIC Therapeutics, Chairman of Aura Biosciences, is a co-founder and Board Observer of Arrakis Therapeutics, a Board Observer of Amylyx Pharmaceuticals, and is a Director of the Termeer Foundation. Alan is a US-based Venture Partner with Advent Life Sciences and is an Advisory Board member of the ALS Investment Fund. Alan has over 25 years of industry experience at Genzyme in business development, business strategy, research and development, general management, and venture capital. Prior to leaving Genzyme in 2013, Alan most recently managed Genzyme’s corporate venture fund, Genzyme Ventures (now Sanofi Ventures). Alan received a Ph.D. in chemistry from MIT in 1985, carried out post-doctoral research in biochemistry at MIT with Professor Christopher Walsh, and completed the executive Program for Management Development at Harvard Business School.

Damià Tormo, PhD, MBM

Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Tormo has been co-founder and advisor for several biotech companies. Among these companies, he co-founded and was CEO of Bioncotech Therapeutics, a spin-off from the Spanish National Cancer Research Center (CNIO), Restaura Biotech SL (a Polytechnic University of Valencia spin-off), Frozen Shard SL and Polymer Therapeutic Solutions SL. He is also co-founder and partner of Biocapital Advisors SL.

Dr. Tormo holds a BSc from the University of Valencia, Spain, a PhD in Immunology and Molecular Genetics from the University of Bonn, Germany, and a master’s degree in biotechnology management (MBM) from IE Business School, Madrid. He was a post-doc fellow at the University of Michigan. Additionally, he has extensive scientific experience endorsed by scientific publications in prestigious journals. He has recieved scholarships and different awards related to innovation and entrepreneurship such as MIT’s TR35 Spain 2011, Emprendedores sXXI from La Caixa and the Biogen-Idec Foundation award.

Javier García, MBA

Business Development

Mr. García is former Eli Lilly and Co.’s Vice President of Business Development for the Biomedicines Business Unit. He had responsibilities for a broad area within the Lilly portfolio (Neurosciences, Cardiovascular, Autoimmune, Urology and Bone). His scope of work also included the search for new therapeutic areas of interest to Lilly in the US, Japan, Europe, Canada and Australia. Mr. García joined Eli Lilly and Company in 1988 and has held several positions with the company. Initially as IT Director, he then went on to take global leadership positions in IT in the Medical and Regulatory groups. From 2001 to 2008 he led the global Sales and Marketing IT organization. He also held different positions in the Sales organization in the US.

Mr. García is also serving as a member of the Board of Directors for two organizations: the National Alliance for Hispanic Health (the premier US non profit organization that focuses on improving the health and well-being of Hispanics) and the Health Foundation for the Americas. Mr. García received his MBA from the “Universidad de Comillas (Madrid)” in 1990, and holds a Bachelor on Statistics and Operation Research from the Universidad Complutense, Madrid.

Christopher VanDeusen, PhD

Head of Medicinal Chemistry

Dr. VanDeusen lead drug discovery teams for over 14 years in at Genzyme and Sanofi legacy companies. Most recently, he was a global project leader within the Tissue Protection and Repair unit within Genzyme. While at Sanofi, he was the head of the chemistry division within Tissue Protection and Repair specializing in Inflammation and Fibrosis research. Chris has contributed to multiple entities entering into clinical development, and is the inventor of an H-PGDS inhibitor currently in development for COPD.
Dr. VanDeusen holds a BA in Chemistry from Wittenberg University and a PhD in Chemistry from Stanford University. He is also the President and co-Founder of Omdana Therapeutics, Inc.

Balbino Alarcón, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Alarcón is Program Director at the National Research Council of Spain (CSIC) and Head of TCR-mediated Signal Transduction Laboratory. An expert on T cell receptor-mediated signaling, his laboratory aims to elucidate the stoichiometry of the TCR and study the mechanisms of assembly and intracellular retention. He also investigates the existence of redundant and specialized roles in signal transduction for each TCR subunit.

Dr. Alarcón holds a BSc in Biochemistry and a PhD in Biology with Special Class Honors from UAM, Madrid. From 1985 – 1990 he completed a period of postdoctoral training at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. He has been professor at Center for Molecular Biology “Severo Ochoa” (CSIC), Madrid since 1990. Dr. Alarcón has received a number of research awards, including Hoechst Marion Roussel and Carmen y Severo Ochoa awards. He is a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization since 2000 and has published 158 scientific articles on TCR biology.

Andy Gagete, PhD

Chief Operating Officer

Dr. Gagete is former Bioncotech Therapeutics Innovation Director. He is currently coordinating R&D activities and leading Program Management at Artax. He has held different post-doc positions at the Spanish National Cancer Center (CNIO) and “Principe Felipe” Research Center (CIPF) in Valencia, Spain.

Dr. Gagete holds a BSc in Biochemistry and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Valencia.